One thing is for certain after its season opener – No. 9 Grand Canyon knows how to survive a game-point.
Grand Canyon fought off seven game-points in the fourth game as it defeated No. 14 McKendree 21-25, 30-28, 25-19, 31-29 on Friday in Phoenix, Arizona.
The Antelopes trailed 24-21 in the fourth game before scoring three consecutive points to force overtime and prevent a decisive fifth game. It also overcame four game-points in overtime before back-to-back kills from middle attacker Colin Lovejoy and outside attacker Christian Janke closed out the match.
Janke led all players and tied a career high with 21 kills on a .576 attack percentage, including having a game-high eight kills in the final game.
Janke was one of three Antelopes with more than 15 kills. Opposite Hugo Fischer finished with 18 kills, while Preseason All-American outside attacker Camden Gianni added 17 kills.
Fisher, Gianni and Janke each also had a match-high three aces in the non-conference victory.
Grand Canyon out-hit McKendree .331 to .300 that was highlighted by a .667 attack percentage and zero errors in the third game.
McKendree outside attacker Ethan Carroll had both a team-high 16 kills and 13 digs. In addition, outside attacker Patrick Ross added 13 kills and 10 digs against Grand Canyon.
The Bearcats hit at least .400 in each of the first two games.
McKendree following its opening-game win had an opportunity to take a two-game lead but failed to convert on a game-point opportunity in the second-game overtime.
The Antelopes and Bearcats will meet again on Saturday to conclude their two-match non-conference series.